Top 10 Food Choices for A Healthier You

1. Apples: Available all year round, apples are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin C and pectin, which lowers cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Vitamin C also aids in absorption of ion and folate. Other fruits are great sources of vitamin c, such as oranges, grapefruit, and berries.

2. Almonds: Jam-packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin E, almonds are great for the heart and most of the fat is monosaturated. Walnuts are another nut choice that can help add fiber and nutrients. As a matter of fact, most nits are a good source of fiber.

3. Broccoli: Broccoli is packed with phytonutrients, which are disease-fighting components found is other vegetables as well as broccoli. Diabetes, heart disease and some cancers may respond to phytonutrients. The best-known phytonutrients are carotenoids, flavonoids and isoflavones. Broccoli also contains vitamins C, K and A, manganese, potassium, calcium, and is also a good source of fiber and folate.

4. Blueberries: Add them to cereal or yogurt for a great morning treat. Blueberries are also a great source of vitamin C and phytonutrients. Blueberries are recommended to help improve short-term memory and other age related issues. You should consider all berries in season, especially raspberries, strawberries and Marion berries.

5. Red Beans: Beans, such as small red pinto or the dark kidney variety, are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and thiamin and contain protein. They are easily added to soups, chili and are great on top of salads.

6. Salmon: Salmon is a great source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, along with tuna and sardines. They are low in saturated fat and will provide needed protein along with cholesterol lowering benefits.

7. Spinach: This leafy green is rich in vitamin A, as are collards, chard and kale. Calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, riboflavin and vitamins B-6 and C make spinach and other leafy greens indispensable in a good diet and they may boost the immune system and help prevent some cancers.

8. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene and provide vitamins B-6, C and potassium, so do carrots and butternut or acorn squash. The key to recognizing other beta- carotene rich foods is by their bright orange color.

9. Vegetable Juice: Vegetable juices contain the same vitamins and minerals that the whole veggies do and are an easy way to add vegetable phytonutrients to your diet. Any juice containing tomatoes is rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which may help prevent heart attack and some cancers.

10. Wheat Germ: Wheat germ can be easily added to muffins, pancakes or cookies. The germ at the center of a wheat kernel is a concentrated source of thiamin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc, but it is only the third of the grain. Wheat germ should supplement a diet that utilizes whole grain breads, cereals, rice and pastas where possible. Processed foods like white bread and sugary cereals are lacking in nutrients because they have had the wheat germ removed.

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